Can Germans connect personally?


“Are Germans able to personally connect in/out of the workplace? Or has the formalistic nature of German society gradually removed the intuitive person from the individual entirely?“


I am not quite sure that I understand the question: “personally connect”; “in/out of the workplace”; “formalistic nature of German society”; “the intuitive person”.

Let me address those four pieces individually.

Personally connect

How can a society as large, as sophisticated and as successful as the German be made up of people who are not capable of personally connecting? German society functions exceptionally well. The indicators are quite clear: health, justice, stability, security, economic achievement, democracy, etc. The Germans know how to connect personally.

In/out of the workplace

If above were a true statement, then it would be true for both the private and work spheres. A culture’s logic – regardless of the topic – is at play in both the private, public and work spheres.

Formalistic nature of German society

I’m not sure what is meant by formalistic. There is the formal and the informal. All societies have their mixture, their combinations. There are differences between Germany and the U.S. But, is Germany more formalistic than the U.S.? I suppose it depends on the situation.

Removed the intuitive person from the individual

I’m not sure what that means.

I suspect that imbedded in the question is a misperception of the German people. Or the questioner has had certain experiences interacting with Germans that may have given the impression that Germans have problems or limitations in their interactions with each other and/or with other cultures.

And that those problems are partly a result of their formalistic (formal, regimented, inflexible) society. It would be interesting to hear anecdotes or experiences from the questioner.

The title of the question – It’s all persönlich (personal) – indicates that the point being made might be that Germans are not very personal. If this is the impression made on the questioner, I can understand it immediately.


And it is legitimate. From the American perspective. But certainly not from the German point of view, nor from the perspective of those who have come to know the Germans.

They are a very personable people, with big hearts, deep earnestness, and a willingness to help whenever they are asked. But again, see my comments above under personally connect.

The intercultural question – and critical to German-American collaboration – is: What are the cultural differences which can lead one side to have an image (an understanding or misunderstanding) of another people which is not aligned with that other culture’s self-image?